Subliminal Body Jewelry is the New Leader

by Juliet Cook and j/j hastain

Within one week, three nose rings flew out of my nose,
hit the floor and quickly dispersed.
A month later one of them submerged
from the carpeting and sky rocketed up to the ceiling
like a tiny UFO. It wanted my nose to join it.

Next thing I knew I was missing my vertebrae,
sequined maggots were stitched to the top of my ears
and invertebrate inventory was being conducted
on my hair. Which meant I had made my way back home
to my dream planet where three new pets were waiting
for new toys. My dream might be your nightmare
in which the pets obstruct your landscape and attack.

Water bowls filled with slime for the maggots. Serpents that hit
the street with sky high dance moves coming out of their fangs.
The slang term for this life form is get up off your ass
and look out the open window. There are ducks dying
their bodily curves colors and then diving overboard

to share food with other creatures. Giant sea slugs
with hungry horns. Sea cucumbers craving a new shape.
Stretch marks can be beautiful depending on how long
we let them line the city streets clinging to talking sticks
from which the slugs crawl to the top, elongate their mouths,
watch their hundreds of tiny teeth expand and start growing
into apocalyptic buildings scraping sky cloth into new parameters.